Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finding Strength In Weakness


Matthew 26:31-35

Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'

But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."

Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."

Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!"
And so said all the disciples.

----------------------------------

The Lord Jesus Christ predicted the disciples would desert Him.

And it came to pass exactly as He said it would.

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ revealed the disciples' weaknesses.

And this lesson later changed the course of their lives.

*******

To carry the gospel message to the world, the disciples had to be strong.

But the first step to acquire strength is to admit weaknesses.

A lesson on weaknesses was vital for the disciples.

*******

The disciples thought that their love for the Lord Jesus Christ, their spiritual strength, and their ability to control Satan was great and sufficient.

They were leaning on their own understanding.

The Lord Jesus Christ had to teach them a lesson about the inadequacy of their own strength in the midst of spiritual warfare.

*******

When the Lord Jesus Christ and the disciples left the upper room, it was nearly midnight.

There were only eleven disciples with Him then.

The Lord Jesus Christ had dismissed Judas Iscariot several hours before.

*******

As the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples ascended the Mount of Olives, they stopped and rest.

While they rested, the Lord Jesus Christ confronted the disciples about their weaknesses.

*******

The disciples were ignorant of their own weaknesses and the strength of Satan.

They were ignorant of the power of the test they would face in a few hours.

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ taught the disciples a lesson about the stupidity of self-sufficiency.

He said, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

Then in verse 34 the Lord Jesus Christ said to Peter, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ knew the disciples would forsake Him that night.

Nevertheless He also knew He would be raised from the dead.

And He would meet them again in Galilee.

*******

The disciples were afraid to face the moment of their trial because they were weak and couldn’t handle death.

They deserted the Lord Jesus Christ because they were afraid of what the Roman and Jewish leaders would do to them.

And that fear translated as being ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ told the disciples He would go before them into Galilee.

Yes, He would return to be their shepherd and lead them once again.

*******

And He did just that.

After being raised from the dead, He told Mary Magdalene and the other Mary this: "Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me" (Matthew 28:10).

He came out of the grave and kept His rendezvous with the disciples.

*******

Peter claimed to be the most trustworthy disciple of all.

He was proud and self-confident.

But actually he was weak and ignorant of his cowardice.

*******

Peter's foolish pride was manifest in 3 ways:

  1. He contradicted the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter was saying that the Lord Jesus Christ was wrong when he insisted that he wouldn’t deny Him.

  2. He claimed superiority over the other disciples. "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."

  3. He trusted in his own strength. "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!"

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ knew every detail of what would happen.

He knew where Peter would be, who he would meet, and how he would deny Him.

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ was loving and merciful.

In spite of the disciples’ deserting Him, He restored them.

He gathered them together and led them into Galilee.

*******

The Lord God is in the business of restoring those who have deserted Him.

That is comforting to know.

If we are believers, we may forsake Him at some point in our lives, but under no condition will He ever forsake us.

*******

The disciples learned a powerful lesson about their weaknesses.

The Lord Jesus Christ returned from the grave and put His loving arms around them, restoring them.

He then recommissioned them and sent them out.

*******

After seeing the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection, they were no longer afraid of death.

They knew they also would rise from the dead.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ had given them strength to go out with a new approach.

*******

The same thing must be true in our lives.

Not until we realize how the sweet and tender grace of the Lord has restored us will we go out and conquer the difficulties we will surely face.

*******

The disciples had found God's strength in their weaknesses.

And so have many of us.


No comments: